Game of Thrones costume designer Michele Clapton drops spoiler for season 7


Michele Clapton has been putting together the costumes on Game of Thrones since the beginning. Her thoughtful, detailed work has won her multiple Emmys, and based on what we’ve seen of season 7, the odds of a repeat performance are good. She gave some great insights into what to expect from the upcoming costumes while talking to Uproxx.

It’s all very interesting, and we’re going to get to it. But first, we have to address a SPOILER that slipped past Clapton’s defenses. If you don’t want to know, scroll down past the picture of Jon Snow. If not, read on below the fold.

Clapton dropped the SPOILER while discussing Jon Snow’s outfit. Apparently, in season 7, one of Jon’s principal sartorial features will be a cape modeled after the one Ned Stark used to wear. The cape will tie Jon to his roots, and project an authority that marks him as the kind of guy who can unite various peoples — the Northerners, the wildlings, etc — against the coming threat.

But he won’t wear it all the time. For example, Clapton said that he loses he when he travels beyond the Wall, a minor spoiler. “He really embraces this Northern, over-the-Wall style, the Wildling style, and the reason he embraces it is because it’s practical,” she said. “Kit [Harington] was delighted that he didn’t have the big heavy cape. This was agile and he could fight and move and I think it was a really interesting process just to take him out into this new look.”

He’ll also wear it in the presence of some heavy-hitters.

"There are times when we removed it because we wanted him to be more vulnerable. Especially I think, when he saw Dany, and he went to see her for the first time in her chamber. We decided to remove it, but then when he went to see Cersei, we put it on."

If you’ve been paying attention to season 7 SPOILERS, it’s probably not a huge shock that Jon visits Daenerys. There were plentiful photos of them filming together in Spain. Hell, even if you didn’t look at spoilers, you probably could have guessed that the two will meet up. Jon wants to fight a race of ice zombies and Daenerys has fire-breathing dragons. Of course he’ll be interested in meeting her.

But the news about Cersei is new. Does Jon visit her personally, or is it part of a larger group scene we’ve heard about? Stay tuned.

Okay, and we’ve back in the NON-SPOILER PORTION OF THE POST. It was real.

Clapton addressed the outfits worn by other characters, as well, such as Daenerys, Cersei, and Sansa. For Dany, it’s all about being a conqueror. “She’s this figurehead of her army,” Clapton said. “I wanted her to be able to stand in front of the Unsullied and be their leader.” And while Daenerys doesn’t wear a crown (she hasn’t conquered yet, after all), she does wear a chain across her breast. “I loved this [idea] of this chain of intent.”

Some fans may have noticed that Dany’s new getup kind of resembles what her abusive brother Viserys wore back in season 1. “I think it’s quite interesting that we finally see her embracing her brother’s ambition,” Clapton said. “What does that say? You’re seeing the beginning of something. We’re not at the end yet and I think it’s very important at this moment that we start seeing who she is.” Ominous.

As for Cersei, Clapton says that her simple black dress and simple tiara is partly an expression of the fact that she’s still in mourning. “She’s lost all her children. It was a high price to pay for this crown.”

Cersei has elaborate accessories in season 7, but according to Clapton, they’ve covering for something.

"She uses this beading [as] this sense of power but it’s all quite brittle and it’s all an adornment. It’s not part of the dress. She has a collar and she has these shoulder pieces, but they’re separate from the dress. Everything’s removable and I thought it was really important that her dress, the simple dress underneath is really uncluttered. She’s in mourning. She puts these things on to show strength but there’s a brittleness in that strength."

Finally, Clapton weighed in on Sansa, whose clothes — particularly a belt that “wraps around her neck and goes to her waistline” — projects an air of “no one will ever get to me again,” according to Clapton. “There’s an armor to her. There’s feathers again from her time in the Eyrie. There’s a circular necklace, which I think is really important with a needlepoint. And there’s an element in the dress of her mother, the pattern is almost like fishes swimming. It’s this binding against her vulnerability. It’s full of symbolism.”

It seems like all these characters are girding themselves for battle in one way or another. We’ll see them clash soon enough.

Next: Game of Thrones cast talks spinoffs, season 7, and who should sit the Iron Throne

In other behind-the-scenes interviews, Game of Thrones set designer Deborah Riley, who’s been with the show since season 4, talked to TIME about building the program’s iconic locations, starting with how she gets started. “The first time that I read the outline [of the season’s plot] is immediately before the meeting with the writers that we have at the start of every season,” she said. “It’s an opportunity for David [Benioff] and Dan [Weiss, the two showrunners] to talk the producers and I through every episode. It may not have the final details of the shooting script, but it does, from an art department point of view, tell us everything we need to know.”

"Essentially it begins with David and Dan’s description to me of how they see something, what they’re imagining, if there are any historical references that they want me to use or if there’s any images that they think are particularly strong. It’s all about research and finding as many images as I can to share with the group. It’s a very collaborative process, and there’s always a bit of give and take."

Like Clapton, Riley puts a ton of thought into her work. “A space can actually make you feel a certain way, and so I break down a scene according to how characters are supposed to be feeling when they walk into a certain space,” she said. “Does it need to be vast and overwhelming? Is it a small and intimate space? Is it comfortable, is it not, is it cold, is it hot?”

According to Riley, the great thing about working on Game of Thrones is that there’s little it can’t do from a production standpoint, so if you want to film in some out-of-the-way location, odds are it’ll happen. And in season 7, she promises more unique locations than ever before.

"Season 7 is the most original work that we’ve been able to do. I’ve been much more reliant on references in previous seasons, whereas in season 7, we’ve reached that point of developing our own original language. In Game of Thrones, it’s been really fun to see how far we can push it."

Season 7 airs July 16.